A special AO Rally for Relief exhibition match will hit Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 15 January as the world’s best players take to the court to raise funds for bushfire relief and recovery efforts prior to the Australian Open.
Many of the world’s top players are throwing their support behind the cause, with the names of players participating to be revealed in the coming days.
Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley today announced AO Rally for Relief as just one of a range of fundraising activities to be rolled out across the summer as part of the Aces for Bushfire Relief program.
“It is heartbreaking to see the devastation the bushfires are wreaking across the country and to see so many people and communities suffering,” Craig Tiley said.
“The Aces for Bushfire Relief initiative gives the tennis community the opportunity to galvanise our sport to support and raise much needed funds to help those who are most in need.
“We are working closely with the top players and have already had a great response, with many of them keen to help this incredibly important cause.
“We look forward to providing an evening of great tennis and entertainment to raise as much money as we can for bushfire relief.”
Aces for Bushfire Relief events and activities will be rolled out across the summer as follows:
Aces for Bushfire Relief
Tennis Australia has already committed a $100 donation for every ace served at the ATP Cup in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.
Today a large section of the tennis family, led by the Australian Open and partners, along with the Brisbane International, Adelaide International, Hobart International, the Apis Canberra International (which has moved from Canberra to Bendigo due to the bushfires), have also joined forces to intensify the fundraising effort.
Tennis Australia is also working to further mobilise the international tennis community – the players, the WTA and ATP and other tennis bodies and events – to try and reach and surpass the target of $100 per ace at all events in January.
Community Tennis Relief
Tennis Australia will grant $1 million to assist communities repair and rebuild tennis facilities damaged or lost in the bushfires.
AO Music for Relief
Proceeds from the AO Live Stage concert with Jessica Mauboy on Sunday 19 January will be donated to the Red Cross appeal. Additional artists will be announced in the coming days.
Open Court Sessions for Bushfire Relief
More than 1,000 tennis clubs across the country will be encouraged to support the relief efforts as part of the launch of Tennis Australia’s newest adult social play participation program, Open Court Sessions.
A viral Aces for Bushfire Relief campaign designed to encourage anyone, from anywhere, to serve an ‘ace’ and donate to the appeal will be launched internationally, and signed player memorabilia will form part of an online auction to raise additional funds.
“During the Australian Open we also plan to honour and recognise the incredible work of our firefighters, emergency services workers and volunteers who serve our communities so tirelessly.
“I know fans will turn out in force to the AO Rally for Relief to support this great cause, as well as get involved in all our other fundraising activities.
“We will have more information on how to purchase tickets in the coming days and we urge everyone to support the tremendous work being done by the Australian Red Cross,” Tiley continued.
Donations to the Australian Red Cross bushfire disaster relief and recovery efforts can be made at www.redcross.org.au/tennis